February 4, 2019
Cypress Ranch High School Head Baseball Coach Corey Cephus (front) was named the 2017-2018 Texas Coach of the Year for Boys’ Baseball by the National Federation of State High School Associations. Nominated by the University Interscholastic League, Cephus and the Mustangs reached the Class 6A state semifinals in 2018, the program’s third state appearance since 2012.
By Joshua Iselin, Cypress Ranch HS
Feb. 4, 2019—Cypress Ranch High School Head Baseball Coach Corey Cephus was recently named the 2017-2018 Texas Coach of the Year for Boys’ Baseball by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
In a letter delivering the news, Dr. Karissa L. Neihoff, NFHS executive director, and Richard Baker, NFHS Coaches association advisory committee, congratulated Cephus, who guided the Mustangs to the Class 6A state semifinals in June. The letter also stated Cephus was specifically nominated by Texas’ association – the University Interscholastic League – as being “the most deserving recipient for this honor.”
“We rely on our member state associations to help us recognize those who are leading their sport, shaping their athletes and contributing in a positive way to their community,” Neihoff and Baker stated in the letter. “It is our pleasure to recognize leaders and role models at the interscholastic level.”
Cypress Ranch High School Head Baseball Coach Corey Cephus (left) credited his coaching staff, former coaches, former Cypress Ranch players and the campus community for him being named the 2017-2018 Texas Coach of the Year for Boys’ Baseball by the National Federation of State High School Associations. (Photo by Cypress Ranch HS Journalism Department)
Cypress Ranch went 32-9-2 in 2018 under Cephus, his second year at the helm after serving as an assistant coach at Langham Creek High School. The Mustangs advanced to the state tournament for the third time in program history.
“It is an incredible honor to be selected as the NFHS Texas Coach of the Year for 2017-2018,” Cephus said. “I owe much to my assistant coaches, Jake Leonhardt, Zach Herbst and Marcus Mendoza, as well former players and the Cypress Ranch community. I learned a great deal from Hall of Fame Coach Jim Gilligan at Lamar University, and Armando Sedeno, my mentor for 16 years during my time at Langham Creek High School. They both played a prominent role in developing me as a player, coach and person. I would also like to thank John Pope for his endorsement to take over the program he started from ground zero.”
Cephus continues a long line of talented baseball players and coaches in CFISD. Former Cy-Fair Head Coach Woody Champagne was inducted into the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in January, following 2018 inductee and former Jersey Village Head Coach Mike Maddox.
Cypress Ranch met Cy-Fair in an all-CFISD regional final in 2018, with the Mustangs capturing the district’s fifth state berth since 2007. Cy-Fair won state in 2007, following by Cypress Ranch in 2012 and 2015. Langham Creek advanced to the state semifinals in 2016.
“Our department is extremely proud of Coach Cephus, his staff and his program on him being honored as the 2017-2018 NFHS Texas Baseball Coach of the Year,” said Ray Zepeda, CFISD director of athletics. “We have always felt that some of the best high school baseball in the state is played here in Cypress and Coach Cephus’ honor validates that. Coach Cephus is a tremendous person and he is very deserving of this award. We feel fortunate that he is a part of our athletic family.”